Tag Archive: New York City

Two Snout Pig



A baby pig in northern China is hogging all the attention in his litter — mainly because he has two snouts.

The two-snouted pig was born in Deshengtang, Jilin province, northern China, and was named “Xiaobao,” which translates roughly into “Babe,” the name of the famous movie character, according to the West Australian.

But while the duo-nosed porker is getting lots of public attention, his owner, farmer Li Zhenjun, says Babe hasn’t been able to pig out very much.

“The mouths aren’t much of an advantage because his head is very heavy and he gets pushed around by the others,” Li said.

Officially, it’s the Year of the Rabbit in Chinese astrology, but one could make an argument that it’s also the year of the two-snouted pig.

Earlier this year, a pig with two mouths was, like Babe, also born on a farm in the Jilin province, and, like Babe, had its share of problems, according to PigProgress.net.

Its owner, Bai Xuejin, said that while the piglet was able to eat and drink from both mouths, it could not suckle because its head was so large, so it had to be raised by hand until it was old enough to eat solid food.

Luckily, that pig was saved from the chopping block and is being used by Bai as a way to attract visitors to the farm.


Three people were killed and two police officers were injured in a gun fight in Brooklyn Monday evening — the latest bloodshed in a violent holiday weekend in New York City that saw at least 48 people shot.

An exchange of gunfire between two men broke out in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood around 9 p.m. Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference.

Officers patrolling the nearby West Indian Parade and Carnival, the site of an earlier shooting Monday, responded to the scene.

“The officers were fired upon and returned fire,” Bloomberg said.

Police identified the gunmen, who both died in the shooting, as Eusi Randy Johnson, 29, and Leroy Webster, 32. Johnson died after Webster shot him in the neck, while Webster was killed by police, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The dispute started as a fistfight in a hallway, then spilled into the street as it escalated, Bloomberg said. It was not clear what the disagreement was over, the mayor said.

A bullet Webster fired “struck an innocent 56-year-old woman sitting on her stoop two doors down,” Bloomberg said. The woman’s name was Denise Gay and her daughter was at her side when she died, the mayor said.

After rushing to the scene, officer Omar Medina “was hit by bullet fragments in his left arm and chest,” Bloomberg said.

He was taken to a nearby hospital and was in stable condition, police said. A second officer, Avichaim Dicken, received a graze wound on his elbow.

Webster had a lengthy criminal record that included arrests for assault, drugs and guns, Kelly said.

The gun battle comes during a holiday weekend marred by shootings, with 33 people shot on Sunday alone.

48 NYC shootings in a weekend: Trend or random tragedy?

It was a very bloody Labor Day weekend in New York. Forty-eight people were shot, including two law enforcement officers and a woman who was sitting with her daughter on a Brooklyn building stoop. The officers survived; three people have died.

The high number of shootings has captured headlines and led some to wonder whether there’s some specific explanation for the violence.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there is, and he said Tuesday that lawmakers in the nation’s capital ought to do something to better control gun violence. New York state reportedly had some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but Bloomberg wants Washington’s help. He spoke outside a hospital where the officers were being treated.

“This is a national problem requiring national leadership,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “But at the moment, neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue has the courage to take basic steps that would save lives.”

Jon M. Shane, an assistant professor at one of America’s most highly regarded policing think tanks, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, cautioned against drawing any conclusions from the numbers alone. Shane spent 20 years with the police department in Newark, New Jersey, which has consistently ranked as one of the most violent cities in the United States.

“I would caution against chalking this up to violence that is going to happen over any holiday weekend,” Shane said, adding that thorough analysis of each Labor Day weekend shooting should be done to extrapolate concrete explanations that go beyond the particulars of each incident. One would need to research possible motives in each case and investigate suspects’ backgrounds and their possible criminal affiliations. Previous crimes at the locations should be weighed from every angle.

In short, 48 shootings sounds like a lot, but drawing any large conclusions, or linking them to a larger trend, will take time.

The woman and the officers were shot Monday hours after the West Indian American Day Parade ended in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. According to the New York Post, two men were “slap boxing” before a shootout in which police became involved. In all, nine people in the area of the parade were shot.

Several people were shot in the Bronx on Sunday. Some of the wounded were children. Four people were shot Monday in Flatbush, Brooklyn, one teenager fatally.

The weekend’s bloodshed put a fine point on figures the FBI released in Mayshowing that violent crime was down throughout the country in the past year but up in New York. The New York Police Department released its own report in January, available in full here (PDF), which visually lays out all of the city’s 536 homicides in 2010

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–U.S. stocks surged in Thursday morning trading, as investors eyeing a rare dose of encouraging employment data and stronger revenue at Cisco Systems took back some of the ground lost in the recent stock-market swoon.

The blue-chip Dow rose 274 points, or 2.6%, to 10996 in late-morning trading. The Dow slumped 520 points Wednesday, the ninth-largest point drop in history, amid mounting worries about the health of Europe’s banks and the chances of a global economic recession.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index jumped 32 points, or 2.8%, to 1152, led by battered financial stocks. The Nasdaq Composite surged 73 points, or 3.1%, to 2454.

Weekly jobless claims data released before the open showed that the number of people claiming new jobless benefits in the U.S. fell slightly last week, a small bright spot in a persistently weak U.S. labor market.

Cisco Systems Inc. also helped set the positive tone. The networking equipment-maker was by far the best-performing blue-chip stock, and surged 17% after posting better-than-expected revenues. The company’s earnings report was viewed as suggesting the company is weathering an uncertain market. Chief executive John Chambers said the company was making “solid progress” on its turnaround effort.

Major indexes were still creaking under the weight of the recent market downdraft. The blue-chip Dow fell nearly 12% for the month as of Wednesday’s close, while the S&P 500 shed 13% and the Nasdaq lost nearly 14% heading into Thursday’s session.

“The tone is certainly emotional and headline-driven,” said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “At some point, rationality will prevail. But the emotions are so high; 2008 is not a distant memory.”

Trading action has been volatile of late as investors sift rumor from fact on European banks and weigh the chances of a global economic recession. The volatility has been accompanied by unusually high volume. As the Dow has swung more than 400 points for three consecutive days, daily volume has been more than twice the 2011 average over recent sessions.

In overnight trading, a cautious tone extended from Europe, where stocks spent much of the session with sharp losses, as concerns swirled about the fate of France’s triple-A rating and the health of that country’s banks.

Citigroup said it “has not cut credit lines to French banks” following a report that Asian banks are reviewing trading and counterparty risks to French banks. Reuters reported that one Singapore bank has already cut credit lines and is assessing trades on a case-by-case basis.

European stocks later turned positive in tandem with the rise in U.S. markets. Asian indexes ended mixed; China’s Shanghai Composite rose 1.3% but Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average shed 0.6%.

In corporate news, AOL Inc. gained 16% after announcing a $250 million stock-repurchase program, while Advance Auto Parts Inc. climbed 8.9% after besting earnings estimates and increasing its share repurchase authorization.

Sara Lee Corp. dropped 2.3% after its fiscal 2012 outlook fell short of estimates.

Casual-dining company Brinker International Inc. jumped 12%. Brinker’s fiscal fourth-quarter results beat expectations and the company gave a positive outlook for the new fiscal year.

Gold futures fell to $1,761 an ounce in recent action. Crude oil futures rose near $84 a barrel. The U.S. dollar lost ground versus the euro but rose against the yen.

Separate economic data released Thursday morning showed a surprise widening in June of the U.S. trade deficit, which reached its highest level in more than two and a half years.

“Today we’ve got two good pieces of news,” in the form of Cisco and the weekly employment reading, said Kevin Shacknofsky, Co-Portfolio Manager of the Alpine Dynamic Dividend Fund. “But it all comes down to whether financial contagion can be avoided in Europe. It comes down to whether Europe learned how to get ahead of the curve and stop muddling through the crisis.”


“When everyone else was leaving the neighborhood, we stayed,” said Rabbi Eli Cohen, executive director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council. “We said, ‘we have nothing to be afraid of; this is our community too, we can work together.’”

At a roundtable meeting with a handful of community leaders, Cohen shared his perspective on how his own Hasidic Jewish community of Crown Heights viewed early black and Jewish race relations in the 60s and 70s in Brooklyn.

The roundtable meeting, held last month in June, was called by the art directors at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation to discuss possible sensitivities and community reaction to its upcoming art exhibit, Crown Heights Gold, which will debut tomorrow, July 28, at the Skylight Gallery.

Crown Heights Gold is a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Crown Heights Riots – perhaps, one of the loudest failures in black and Jewish relations in Brooklyn’s modern history, and definitely not the direction Rabbi Cohen envisioned for “working together.”

August 1991: A seven-year-old black boy named Gavin Cato stopped to fix his bike on President Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, when he was hit by a car. The car that hit and killed him was driven by 22-year-old Yosef Lifsh, a Hasidic Jew.

After a private Jewish emergency service arrived on the scene and reportedly carried away Lifsh and left Cato, outrage erupted throughout the predominantly black community of Crown Heights, resulting in three days of rioting where an innocent, 29-year-old Jewish student, Yankel Rosenbaum, also was stabbed and killed.

The Crown Heights Gold exhibition takes an up-close-and-personal look at this community tragedy, examining, through the lens of various artists, the chain of events that produced the perfect storm leading to the riots, including the community’s visceral reaction during the riots and also the sociological fallout of its occurrence.

The show is an effort to pay homage to the lives lost, to heal and to reconcile the past with present.

Through painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media, an interracial and inter-generational group of 23 artists will explore the face of race relations, particularly amongst blacks and Jews, and more specifically, as it relates to the Crown Heights riot.

The exhibit runs from July 28 – October 31, 2011. Other public programs will accompany the exhibit throughout the months of August, September and October, including an artist talk, a community panel discussion and a youth workshop.

“I think people’s memories for historical occurrences are very short,” said Dexter Wimberly, the project’s curator. “There are those that remember the riots, and then there’s an entire generation out there that has no idea about what happened, or why the community is the way it is today. I think it’s necessary to re-engage people. The incident may be 20 years old, but the subject matter is as fresh as this morning.”

Wimberly’s other projects include the acclaimed exhibition, The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant, which debuted at the Museum of the Contemporary African Diaspora Arts (MoCADA) last summer.

Although most of the artists were born and raised in Brooklyn, and of that group, many are from Crown Heights, some were still young children during the riots and have no real recollection, while another small group of international artist weren’t even living in the United States at the time.

Wimberly pointed out, when he did a call for artists, it was important every artist have his or her own point of view. He said, he felt no compulsion to necessarily guide people’s opinions or make sure everyone interprets the messages in only one way.

“This is just a point of entry to a bigger engagement,” he said. “Doing a show in a didactic way of saying this is what happened, this is who was involved, and this is what the newspaper and media said, it doesn’t serve a purpose of being an art exhibition. You can get that from a panel discussion or a community gathering.

“If we’re going to infuse art into it, then we need to use art for what art is good for, which is making people think in unusual ways about things that are rather common.”

Photographer Jamel Shabazz contributes two pieces, entitled, “What If,” each a portrait of a large, extended family – one black and one Hasidic Jew – suggesting that if both Cato and Lifsh had lived, they could have produced families of that nature.

“It was a very tense time in New York, the tail end of the crack epidemic; Minister Farrakhan was leading the Nation [of Islam], there was a lot of racial tension all over America, and I didn’t like it,” said Shabazz, who grew up in East Flatbush.

David Dinkins was mayor of New York City during the riots, and not dissimilar to the Barack Obama era, a black man at the helm raised a lot of racial tension, discord and divide amongst the white population at the time. 1991 also marked the year of the City University protests and building takeovers, the Rodney King beating, the end of the Persian Gulf War, and the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

“I have my own feelings about what happened,” said Shabazz. “As I was searching for images for this exhibition, I made it a point to stand in front of the synagogue and also attend the West Indian Day parade and document the two worlds.

“I had experience with a lot of Hasidic Jews as a young boy, and over time, I grew to respect them. I also had a relationship with a black woman that was raised in the Yeshiva. But for Crown Heights, it’s still complicated.”

Wimberly admitted, he did not reach out to the families of the victims in researching or curating the exhibit. He said he was careful to walk a fine line between remaining sensitive to all those involved who may have vastly different points of views, and also allowing ample room for individual artist interpretation.

“The most difficult part about me conceiving this project is the fact that I have a son that is the same age as when Gavin Cato was killed. And I had to ask myself, ‘If my son had died in that way, how would I feel about someone doing an exhibition 20 years later?’”

“It’s a hard question to ask yourself; how would I really know?” said Wimberly. “But I have to say, I think I would respect the fact that someone is remembering my child.”

The opening reception for Crown Heights Gold is Thursday, July 28, from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Center for Arts and Culture Skylight Gallery, located at 1368 Fulton Street, 3rd floor. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11:00am to 6:00pm and Saturdays, 1:00pm to 6:00pm


Lady Gaga To Judge “So You Think You Can Dance” This Week
“Gaga is coming to dance,” shouts the intro of a new “So You Think You Can Dance” promo, announcing that the superstar will be appearing on the upcoming episodes of the hit Fox series. Gaga will be judging the final eight contestants on Wednesday (July 27) and will perform on Thursday (July 28), both at 8 p.m. EST. On Thursday, Gaga will also perform on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and the entire block behind Kimmel’s Hollywood studio will be shut down for the show, which will include her latest song, “You And I.” Watch the promo for Gaga’s “So You Think You Can Dance” spot below. (THR)



Court Date Set In Lawsuit Against Rihanna
Rihanna will be heading to court in New York City on Aug. 10 for the first hearing in the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against her by photographer David LaChapelle. His claims that Rihanna’s “S&M” video plagiarizes the “composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colours, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting” of his photographs. LaChapelle said that he is a fan of the pop star’s and that the suit is “not personal, it’s strictly busienss.” (Jezebel)


Hot Snakes To Reunite at ATP in December
Beloved underground rock act Hot Snakes will reunite later this year for a performance at All Tomorrow Parties’ Nightmare Before Christmas event, set to take place Dec. 9-11 in Minehead, England. The event is being jointly curated by Battles, Les Savy Fav and Caribou and will also feature performances by Archers Of Loaf, Gary Numan, No Age, Wild Flag, the reunited Bitch Magnet, the Dodos, Pharoah Sanders and the Sun Ra Arkestra, among many others.

Hot Snakes, which were led by former Drive Like Jehu principals Rick Froberg and John Reis, split in 1995 after three acclaimed studio albums. Froberg moved on to the band Obits, while Reis has since fronted the Night Marchers. Reis confirmed the reunion in a post on the message board for his Swami Records label, saying, “So far just ATP is confirmed,” but that the band is “talking about maybe doing a couple more shows beforehand” on the East Coast.


Anthony Kiedis Cried Over Justin Bieber
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ frontman Anthony Kiedis admitted to crying while watching Justin Bieber’s documentary “Never Say Never.” “I sat on an airplane recently, coming from Hawaii to Los Angeles, with Rick Rubin just across the aisle, watching the Justin Bieber movie, ‘Never Say Never.’ I cried twice during that film and I want the world to know that!” the rocker told UK magazine Q. (Spinner)


Justin Timberlake Spends Comic-Con as Sesame Street Character
While he played the new art director of GQ in his latest flick “Friends with Benefits,” Justin Timberlake collaborated last week with an actual magazine writer, Chris Jones of Esquire. The writer and singer played a practical joke on Comic-Con this past weekend by spending July 21 in Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie costumes, respectively — a secret that was safe until Jones revealed it on Twitter. (Huffington Post)


Robyn Covers Coldplay’s ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’
Swedish dance-pop queen Robyn made a stop at BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge earlier today to record two songs: The first, “Call Your Girlfriend,” the stellar single from 2010’s “Body Talk,” and second, a cover of Coldplay’s latest release “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.” Adding a twinkling synth riff and driving drum beat to the latter, Robyn makes the song her own. Listen below. (BBC)

The Who to Perform ‘Quadrophenia’ On Tour
Pete Townsend has revealed in a blog post that The Who will, yet again, perform its classic sixth album, “Quadrophenia,” in its entirety on tour next year. The Who guitarist is not on the group’s current “Tommy” tour, writing in the same blog post that the current tour “is entirely Roger’s adventure… I look forward to playing with Roger again doing ‘Quadrophenia’ next year.” The Who played “Quadrophenia” in its entirely last year for charity at the Royal Albert Hall, and Townsend confirmed that he is working on a re-mastered edition of the album. (Rolling Stone)







Young Jeezy brought out a hip-hop all-star team, including Jay-Zand Kanye West, to celebrate the sixth anniversary of debut album “Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101” on Monday night (July 25) at New York’s Highline Ballroom. In addition, the rapper announced a Sept. 20 release date for his highly anticipated fourth album, “TM 103.”



After hitting the stage around 11:30 pm and playing two songs, Jeezy brought out Jay-Z — who was rocking a hoodie and gold chain — for “Go Crazy (Remix).” Soon after, Jay’s “Watch The Throne” partner Kanye West jumped onstage to deliver his verse from “The Recession” highlight “Put On.”



Bun BFabolous and the LOX also took the Highline stage, with the latter group bringing the house down with a performance of “Wild Out.” Along with “Thug Motivation 101” hits like “My Hood,” “Soul Survivor” and “Trap Star,” Jeezy played tracks like “I Luv It,” “Go Getta” and new track “Ballin.”



Since its July 2005 release, “Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101” has sold 2 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. If “Thug Motivation 103” does arrive in September, it will end a three-year absence since the 2008 release of “The Recession.”



Jay-Z held an intimate listening session for his and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne album in New York City’s Mercer Hotel last night (July 7), and select members of the media — including XXL as well as two teenage kids who were the first to pre-order the album, accompanied by their parents — were privy to the rough listening of about a dozen or so songs.


Although the crew in attendance, mostly sitting on the floor camp-style, was given strict instructions not to live tweet (a Fader reporter was kicked out early in the night because of it), not to quote lyrics and not to report on album titles, some of the highlights we can provide include a strong Otis Redding sample, a song in which Jay-Z and Kanye West both rap to their unborn children and collaborations with Beyonce and Frank Ocean (who appears on two tracks).


In addition, there’s a southern-inspired track that finds Jay and ‘Ye trading verses at times and then rapping in unison. There’s also an opera-sounding production that might make the final cut. What might not be included though, is the first and only track that the duo leaked, “H.A.M.,” which Jay explained was a smart track but quite possibly not an enjoyable listen.


Jay, who wore a v-neck T-shirt, cargo pants and shell-toe Adidas and hosted the affair alone while West is in London, made sure to have enough libations (Ace of Spades bottles everywhere), Voss water and cheese platters to go around the room. Producer Mike Dean, Hov’s bodyguard Norman and longtime lawyer/manager John Meneilly were also in attendance.


Jigga, who played an unspecified bonus tracks for those in attendance, also mentioned working on his next solo album, for which he has two songs already, one of which features the Odd Future singer/songwriter Ocean.


As of press time there is no release date for either projects. —Gina Montana


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